Tag Archives: libdayinlife

A library day in the life – Round 8

A working day by Tupolev und seine Kamera via flickr CC

So, this week is Round 8 of the Library Day in the Life project and as I’m an occasional contributor to the project – here’s my day!

I am an outreach librarian within the Academic Services Unit at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. We ‘outreachers’ are the point of contact for academics and higher degree research students at the university and actively promote the research support services the library offers. In addition, I have recently taken on the role of collection co-ordinator within the Humanities, Creative Arts & Social Sciences Unit. As collection work and responsibility is spread across all academic services librarians here, there are 2 co-ordinators to keep track of the projects and tasks that form the collection part of our daily work.

8:00 arrived at work, did all the usual ‘waiting for my computer to warm up’ stuff – getting a cup of tea, chatting to the other early birds on the floor (there’s not many of us this early – it doesn’t take long!)

8:15 emails – not too many to deal with, accepted a meeting request for later today, put a couple of things in the ‘read/do something with later’ pile.

8:30 talked with a colleague who is new to twitter, answering a few of her questions, including looking at a couple of different twitter apps and comparing their features

9:00 met informally (as in, she wandered onto our floor so I grabbed the chance for a few words) with the manager of our Electronic Resources Unit (ERU) in my capacity as collection co-ordinator.

9:15 talked with (ie, sought advice from!) previous collection co-ordinator about a few issues that I haven’ t been able to resolve

9:30 realised it’s library day in the life week and that today may be a reasonably interesting day to write about so started writing this

9:45 read a document on producing reports from our back end catalogue system ahead of a briefing/training session on this later this morning. I desperately need to learn how to do this to get a pile of backlogged collection projects underway.

10:00 Coffee with a few team members 🙂

10:20 back to reading my training document

11:00 went off to learn in practice how to produce reports

12:30 lunch under a shady tree in the courtyard with a colleague

1:00 preparation for a meeting with the Centre Manager of one of the research centres within my Outreach portfolio. The centre is relocating to a smaller space and looking for advice on how to review their book/report collection – it’s mostly grey literature so I’m looking for some resources to point them towards. I’m also eating chocolate.

2:00 meeting at the research centre. Very successful meeting, leaves me feeling very positive about the relationship between the library and the centre.

3:15 quick coffee break with a colleague

3:30 at my desk, dealing with email that arrived while I was in the meeting and following up on a number of issues resulting from the meeting. Also set up a meeting with an academic from another centre who wants to get up to speed with the support we can provide for her teaching this semester.

3:45 quick meeting with a colleague who has been doing research around whether we continue to subscribe to a particular journal

4:00 debrief with my team leader on the significant 2pm meeting

4:20 home

It was really hot and muggy in Sydney today, I felt like I’d run miles when I got home. Most days I don’t mind public transport – some days, like today, I’d give my right arm for an airconditioned car.

A day in the life…

I know it’s not a designated Library Day in the Life date, but frankly, by the 23rd of June, I’m running out of puff for #blogjune posts (in spite of the crowdsourcing I did the other day – thank you, they are all firmly tucked away as ideas to be developed).

So, what did I do today in my still #newjob?

8am: arrived at my desk with coffee & toasted banana bread (believe me, to get here at 8am from my place I can’t have breakfast at home, I’d have to get up at 5.30am…). Did a bit of ‘how was your evening’ with some colleagues while waiting nearly 10 minutes for the work PC to boot up and labour to the point where I could actually use it.

8.15am: sorted through a few emails that had arrived after I left yesterday, mostly FYI, not much action required

8.30am: I’m reviewing the Libguides for one of my Outreach areas, so spent some time looking at what other Universities do in this subject area.

9.45am: Coffee with some team members – possibly my favourite part of the day 🙂

10:00am: More libguides, plus wrangling the University Handbook to try and work out what subjects are taught in this area and who teaches them, so I can make more informed choices about the Libguides review

11:00am: Quick scan of Google Reader led to some reading of interesting articles

12:00pm: Attended a University seminar The iPad in tertiary education with some colleagues.

1.30pm: Lunch – maybe my second favourite part of the day? Beautiful sunshine today, with semester break nearly upon us the Library Lawn is fairly quiet and there’s plenty of places to sit and enjoy the day.

2.00pm: Preparation for a meeting with an academic – well that was the plan. In reality? This is where my day departed from the planned. Instead of preparing during this time, I ended up meeting with the academic earlier than the original meeting time as she had some other issues to discuss and we needed more than the half hour previously allocated. My preparation therefore consisted of a 10 minute conversation with another of my team members enroute to the earlier iPad presentation…

2.30pm: Scheduled meeting (over coffee) with an academic to try and improve my understanding of what is taught in her area and find out what her personal research interests are. Of course, this meeting actually started at 2pm instead.

3:00pm: Evacuation procedures training (refresher?) from the new Help Zone on the main floor of the library – what we have to do if we are rostered onto the Help Zone when an evacuation takes place.  I ended up missing this – see earlier entry about prolonged meeting, which ran over time, didn’t get back to the library until 3.20, by which time the evacuation run-through was finished and I arrived just in time to walk back up the stairs with the rest of the team (thereby possibly managing to look like I had been at the run-through?)

4.00pm: Home! The very good thing about arriving at 8am is I can leave at 4pm and still accrue some flextime.

Actually, it was a pretty good day 🙂

Transferable skills

Unshelved - 23 Feb 2011

As always, Unshelved made me laugh. However, it does raise the question for me of what exactly IS an information professional? Are we people who ‘look stuff up in books’? Do we actually have any real life, useful skill that is valued anywhere outside the library profession?

I suspect the answer is yes and no.  I think we do have real life skills, but whether they are valued outside the profession is another thing.  It’s the whole ‘librarian’ stereotype I think.  I have members of my own organisation introduce me to outsiders as the librarian ‘but she does other stuff too, like information literacy and search skills training’.  I know, and everybody else inside the profession knows that the ‘other stuff’ is actually librarianship, how come nobody else seems to know that?

This is an old, hoary chestnut – I know this. Everyone in library land has had similar experiences. However, in my quest for a new job I am coming up against this transferable skill thing more and more.  I have skills from outside library land that are, in fact, highly transferable into this environment. Similarly, my library and information skills should be transferable to another environment. The trick is having a prospective employer who can see that.  This has come up for me in a big way in the past week or so.  Out of the blue I was offered a job with a start up professional development company – but it was on the basis of my previous administration experience (clearly very transferable skills but I don’t want to work in admin – that’s why I studied for a career change). I turned the job down after much deliberation as I want to have a chance to show this profession my skills.

So I just keep putting in job applications and waiting for the opportunity.

Library day in the life #6

Robot librarian? by dullhunk via flickr CC

I thought I’d missed ‘the day’ for Round 6 of this blog/posting challenge (see here for more information) but discovered on reading a twitter contact’s post that I actually have the whole week to participate – so here I am, describing my library day in the life for Tuesday 24th January.

I work in an OPL – my employer is a small private higher education college in Sydney.  We have about 300 students, mostly doing a Bachelor of International Business (with a small number doing Masters programs) and all are international students.

Today is a good day for me to post my library day – as I have been involved in a workshop all afternoon, looking at the future of academic libraries and librarians, as perceived by 20 or so members of ALIA Sydney.  It was an invitation only workshop designed to gather some information ‘on the ground’ to feed into the 2020 Academic Libraries Symposium (of University Librarians) to be held at UTS next week.

Before I went though, here was my day:

9.10 – arrive at work.  I’m a bit late (like Sally) – because I got held up with some kid wrangling at home

9.25 – finally get the computer running sufficiently well to download email, respond to one from the Co-op bookshop about our upcoming orders for Term 1 and another from a publisher about the same subject (our term gets underway again on 21 February).

9.40 – update the library website with information about the new location of the library (we moved just before Christmas and are only ‘open for business’ again this week).

9.50 – make new signs for the bay-ends in the library indicating dewey numbers for each bay: I then realise I can’t print these as the printer/copier hasn’t yet been relocated. I overhear the IT guy at the other end of the room (I share my space with the computer lab) on the phone to the copier company complaining about this as I am typing.  We hope it will be here on Thursday.

10.10 – Go for a walk to get coffee and pick up the library copies of the newspapers.  This is earlier than I normally have a coffee break as I’m leaving at 11.15am to go to the Horizon workshop.

10.30 – Scan RSS reader for updates of interest and discover I’m not too late to participate in the library day in the life.

10.40 – Return to working on another Google site I am developing.  I am interested in the concept of libguides but our budget does not allow us to use Libguides itself so I am exploring other ways of providing a similar service to students.  I developed the library website and my own e-portfolio using Google sites and am now practicing on another format to see if it will be a suitable substitute or whether I am better off just expanding the library website to include subject guides.

11.10 – headed off to UTS to attend the Horizon workshop.

12.00 – 5.00 – what fun! Participated in a World Cafe style of discussion focussing on how we see the academic librarian of the future.  The discussion centred around 4 main themes and each small group proceeded around the room to discuss a different theme at each table.  Each table had a ‘topic leader’ who stayed put at the table, so ended up discussing the same theme with all 4 groups.  I was asked to be a topic leader (something I feel privileged to have done) so at the end of the day presented the consolidated thoughts of each small group back to the room.  I really enjoyed both the discussion, the intellectual stimulation and the company of many like minded libraryland folk – some of whom I already knew but most of whom are now new contacts.  Yay for networking! Most exciting of all – on Monday next week, I am joining a team of 4 to present our findings to the ‘bigwigs’ at the 2020 Symposium. Stay tuned!


Yes, this is an uninspiring title for a blog post – but let’s face it, shelving is a pretty uninspiring topic.

A few weeks ago there was some discussion on my twitter stream about the use of paper signs in libraries (and probably signage in general as we all know no-one reads them).  I’m here to tell you no-one listens to me talk either! I have talked till I’m blue in the face about returning books to the returns box and asking students (and staff!) to hand books back to me after they’ve used them in the library.  I have put up signs, talked about in on the website, etc etc.  And still, I can’t keep the law books shelves in any sort of order.

Understand, this is a minor irritation here at MPOW as our law book collection is literally only about 50 or so books, but when Unshelved for today came across my desk, I just had to write this quick post.

Library day in the life #5

I’ve only just caught up with this project… slow but accurate.  Remembering that MPOW is a very small private higher education college where I do lots of things seemingly unrelated to librarianship (and I’m the Records Manager as well), here is a snapshot of yesterday:

9am: arrive, sort out the papers (put out today’s, put yesterday’s aside for one of our English language classes to go through)

9.15: sit down to deal with email, process book returns and check a few books out to students

9.30: have a discussion with Student Services manager re the proofreading of our latest prospectus, collect her comments and prepare them for a meeting with the marketing manager later in the day

9.45: send the final draft of the new student newsletter (organisation, not just library) to Student Services manager for comment and distribution to students if ok

10.00: meet with one of our program directors to discuss ongoing problems with getting the student management system to accomodate the peculiarities of his particular group of students.

10.30: Sit with IT manager to attempt to learn how to process those students onto the new student management system.  Fail, as the software proprietors haven’t made the changes we asked for, so we can’t do anything.

10.45: Go on a hunt through the Records Management database AND the physical records for a document I’m pretty sure I haven’t been given but need to check anyway.

11.00: Coffee and a quick read through the papers – Wednesday is Higher Education supplement day in The Australian so I spend half an hour reading this.  At some point today I put out a call on Twitter for access to an article I am looking for and (of course) I get instant response and the article is in my inbox before I can say ‘Thanks’.

11.30: Finally get to start working on the Academic Skills course in the College Moodle.

1.00: It’s raining so I don’t go out for lunch, instead stay at my desk and chat with staff as they come in and out of the library, upload some Xtranormal videos to YouTube for use in the Moodle course (this seems to take forever)

2.00: Meeting with the Marketing Manager to give her my final proof reading results for prospectus.  We spend an hour going over it again together making sure it is absolutely right as it goes to print at the end of the week.

3.00: Respond to a request from a lecturer for a desk copy of a text – email publisher, help a couple of students find the book they are after, check out a few books to them.

3.15: Work through a bit more of the National Code of Practice (ESOS Act 2000, a requirement for all organisations that provide services to overseas students in Australia).

4.00 Work interrupted as my computer suddenly announces it needs to have  Bex and a good lie down.  I restart it instead.

4.15: Back to the Moodle

5.00: Home!